How to tie a Clouser Minnow by Capt. Matthew Thomas

I think of the Clouser Minnow as the gold standard of streamers. This fly is my favorite for many reasons:

  • Rides hook point up
  • Can be weighted for any need
  • Can be sized for any fish
  • Can be tied with infinate color scheme
  • Easy to tie well

I move this fly smooth with a combined, steady stripping and sweeping motion to make them give chase. Tarpon, Bonefish, Trout, Carp; the Clouser Minnow is a "sticky" pattern.

The trick I have learned about tying the Mighty Clouser Minnow...


Keep it simple, tight, slender.

I have learned to organize my bucktail without using a hair stacker. I also set my hook the opposite of normal with the hook point up. (It helps to have a rotary vise)

This particular fly is intended to catch trout. I tie a rig with two Clouser Minnows blood knotted, 20" from each other, on 15-20 lb. flourocarbon. (any colors, as long as they are tan and white)

You'll notice I chose a 2x or 3x long shank hook. I find having a longer hook takes advantage of those pesky trout short strikes. I also recognize that a Clouser constantly moving has more tendency to keep a strike than a jerked fly, where half the time, there is slack line and no direct contact to hit the strike.

The Clouser Minnow is what all other steamers aspire to be.

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How to tie a Little Olive Merkin Crab Fly

How to tie a
Little Olive Crab Fly

The Merkin Style Crab Fly is undoubtedly the favorite fly of permit fishers, and has been since the beginning! Olive is a great color in the Florida Keys. Permit eat little crabs...

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Materials List:

I like to use a Gamakatsu SL12S size 2 for my crab flies.  This hook is
strong and very sticky.  Most appropriately sized saltwater hooks will do.

This particular crab pattern is tied with tan thread.  I suggest using 
 something light colored that you can change with a marker later.
Click here to buy Fly Tying Thread

Most crab fly patterns use weighed eyes to get down to the fish right away.
This crab pattern is tied with medium weight eyes.
Click here to buy Weighted Eyes

This fly calls for a hackle feather tail.  I use two grizzly hackles
splayed out "Keys Style" for the tail of the fly.
Click to buy Crab Tying Feathers

I used dyed marabou in the tail of the fly as well.  This part of the fly
can be tied with any sort of "fluff" I just happen to like this material.
Click to buy Fly Tying Fluff

Mono eyes are made easily with a little bit of heavy mono and a lighter.  
With a little bit of practice, you will be making mono eyes like a pro.

 The body of this crab fly is made with Synthetic Fly Tying Fibers. 
The most popular is EP Fibers.  I use tan for a Blue Crab Fly.

No crab fly is complete without wiggly legs.  I like to use rubber 
legs that are a similar color to what i am trying to imitate.

This Blue Crab Fly takes life when you hit it with a marker.  
I am sure to always use a permanent marker when I color my crab flies.

For Step By Step Instructions on how to tie this style of crab fly in any color, size or weight.  Please refer to my video titled, 

Capt Matt guides in the Lower Keys during the Spring Tarpon Migration.  If you would like to set up a Tarpon Fishing Trip in the Florida Keys this next season, contact Capt Matt at

Good Luck! I hope you catch many big permit with your Little Olive Merkin Style Crab.

How to Tie a Green Tarpon Toad

The tarpon toad is undoubtedly the favorite of tarpon fishers these days. Green or chartreuse is the preferred color.

If you would like to fly fish for tarpon with a Green Tarpon Toad. Captain Matt has some dates available during the best months. Check out his website: and see why you need to go fishing with Captain Matt when you decide it is time to go tarpon fishing

I like to tie this fly on a Gamakatsu SL12S, 1/0 or 2/0. On the video, be sure to take notice of the way I prepare my materials before hand. This video is about 3 minutes long.

Snarfle guards and weed guards are are a must. I use the same snarfle guard method for every fly that I can. I like to use 20# flouro for the weed guard.

Consider the idea that a minimum of well placed wraps with your thread is stronger than too many "filling wraps"...

Good Luck! I trust you will catch many big tarpon with your new, well tied, Chartreuse Tarpon Toad.

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